|NGC 5128 "Centaurus A": Radio Galaxy (Centaurus) RA: 13h 25.5m / DEC: -43° 01'.0|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) is an energetic radio galaxy located in Centaurus. It's about 6.5 degrees south of 2.8 magnitude Iota Centauri. Centaurus is a southern constellation that never strays too far from the horizon for observers on the North American continent. With a declination of -43 degrees, NGC 5128 rises just 12 degrees above the horizon from Flagstaff. Fortunately, the air at 7,000 feet typically shows good transparency even for objects close to the horizon. NGC 5128 looks quite impressive.
My drawing is based on 30-minutes spent admiring this egg-shaped radio galaxy. Its total visual magnitude is 6.8 and the galaxy covers a 20'x15' area in my 10-inch Newtonian. A tilde-shaped dark lane bisects Centaurus A, giving it the overall appearance of a distorted Pepsi logo. The brighter foreground stars shine at 10th magnitude. Before leaving the area, you must make the 4.5 degree slew to the south for a view of magnificent Omega Centauri.
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Revised: April 5, 2003 [WDF]